Media Matters

  • In the news biz, there’s a term for the sort of media coverage we saw a lot of with Hurricane Florence: disaster porn. It’s meant to seduce viewers who might use some other news source or prefer to take a 24-7 news break. As a result, what we too often see are on-the-scene reporters performing for a camera.

We already have the relevant storm data and updates from gubernatorial press conferences. We also have video of falling trees, downed power lines, abandoned vehicles and roof-line flooding. But somehow, they’re just not graphic enough. Hence, the need for self-hyping histrionics showing reporters being buffeted–or trying their best to look buffeted–by winds and storm surge.

  • “The core lesson of being a journalist: Read before you write.” That’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh from his memoir, “Reporter.” Serious journalists already know that. It’s part of doing one’s homework. And it’s apparent how many less-than-serious, cable news political personalities don’t. It’s all about arranging your partisan talking points and getting ready to interrupt a panelist.

There’s another journalistic adage that is no less relevant. “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” Now more than ever.

  • From Michael Wolff to Omarosa to–Stormy Daniels? Indeed, the book-writing opportunists come in all shapes and sizes and partisan appeals. Now we have: “Stormy Daniels: Full Disclosure.” Maybe Melania will read it before checking her pre-nup agreement again.
  • With all due respect, please note that at the end of the day, the bottom line is to never throw anyone under the bus; we’re better than that. There, we got a bunch of all-too-frequently-applied clichés out of the way in one sentence.

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